Article

Treatment options for massive rotator cuff tears.

Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.
Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery / American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons ... [et al.] (Impact Factor: 1.93). 03/2011; 20:S20-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.jse.2010.11.028
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    ABSTRACT: Hypothesis The purpose of this study is to evaluate the muscle activity with surface electromyography (EMG) and the clinical outcome of the latissimus dorsi transfer. It remains unclear whether the clinical results of the latissimus dorsi transfer for massive posterosuperior rotator cuff tears are achieved either by active muscle contractions or by a passive tenodesis effect of the transfer. Methods Eight patients were evaluated preoperatively and at 1 year (SD, 0.1) after the latissimus dorsi transfer. Clinical evaluation of outcomes included active range of motion, Constant score, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain and activities of daily living (ADL). Muscle activity was recorded with EMG during directional isometric abduction and adduction tasks. Results The external rotation in adduction improved from 23° to 51° (p = 0.03). The external rotation in abduction improved from 10° to 70° (p = 0.02). The mean Constant score improved from 39 to 62 postoperatively (p = 0.01). The VAS for pain at rest improved from 3.3 preoperatively to 0.1 (p = 0.02). The VAS for ADL improved from 4.9 to 2.3 (p = 0.05). The transferred latissimus dorsi remained active in all cases, as reflected by increased latissimus dorsi EMG activity during abduction tasks. In addition, the latissimus dorsi EMG activity shifted from preoperative antagonistic co-activation in adduction to synergistic activation in abduction. Conclusion The latissimus dorsi has synergistic muscle activity after transfer. Apart from a tenodesis effect, directional muscle activity seems relevant for improved clinical outcome and pain relief. A specific gain was observed for external rotation in elevated arm positions, a motion essential for ADL tasks.
    Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 10/2013; · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transfer of the latissimus dorsi tendon to the greater tuberosity of the humerus for treatment of an irreparable rotator cuff tear has been reported to yield good-to-excellent short to intermediate-term results in well-selected patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term outcome of such transfers for irreparable posterosuperior rotator cuff tears to determine the durability of the results and to identify risk factors for an unfavorable outcome. Fifty-seven shoulders in fifty-five patients (seventeen women and thirty-eight men with a mean age of fifty-six years) were managed with latissimus dorsi tendon transfer. Final follow-up was performed at a mean of 147 months. Outcome measures included the Constant score and the Subjective Shoulder Value (SSV). Osteoarthritis, the acromiohumeral distance, and the so-called critical shoulder angle were assessed on standardized radiographs. Forty-six shoulders in forty-four patients were available at the time of final follow-up. The mean SSV increased from 29% preoperatively to 70% at the time of final follow-up, the relative Constant score improved from 56% to 80%, and the pain score improved from 7 to 13 points (p < 0.0001 for all). Mean flexion increased from 118° to 132°, abduction increased from 112° to 123°, and external rotation increased from 18° to 33°. Mean abduction strength increased from 1.2 to 2.0 kg (p = 0.001). There was a slight but significant increase in osteoarthritic changes. Inferior results occurred in shoulders with insufficiency of the subscapularis muscle and fatty infiltration of the teres minor muscle. Superior functional results were observed in shoulders with a small postoperative critical shoulder angle. Latissimus dorsi tendon transfer offered an effective treatment for irreparable posterosuperior rotator cuff tears, with substantial and durable improvements in shoulder function and pain relief. Shoulders with fatty infiltration of the teres minor muscle and insufficiency of the subscapularis muscle tended to have inferior results, as did those with a large critical shoulder angle. Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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    Patient Safety in Surgery 12/2013; 7(1):38.

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